Shoulder injuries are not uncommon in car accidents. While many heal within a few days, certain types – such as tears – can take longer. It’s important to understand the implications of this type of injury and your legal rights if the collision was someone else’s fault, whether a relatively minor accident on a side street in Aurora or a drunk driver who collided with your vehicle on the I-225.
Shoulder Tear Injuries from a Car Accident
A rotator cuff tear is one type of shoulder injury that drivers might suffer in a motor vehicle accident. The four muscles that come together as tendons comprise the rotator cuff. It’s what keeps a person’s arm in the shoulder socket. Because they play a role in rotating and lifting the arm, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) notes that an injury can make it difficult to perform daily tasks, such as brushing your hair.
Another type of shoulder tear is a SLAP tear. This is an injury to a ring of cartilage (labrum) that surrounds the shoulder joint socket. SLAP stands for: superior labral tear from anterior to posterior. In some cases this injury also affects the biceps tendon, according to the AAOS. Both a rotator cuff and SLAP tear can significantly impact an accident victim’s life.
Impact of an Acute Shoulder Injury from a Car Accident
Rotator cuff tears are a common cause of disability and pain. The shoulder may become weakened and so even the most basic of tasks can become extremely painful. As a result, the individual is likely to miss time from work, especially if his or her job duties require moving the injured arm.
During this time, it may necessitate going on short-term disability. Even then, only a percentage of the person’s weekly salary is going to be available. Of course, this is assuming short-term disability benefits are available. Those whose insurance plans don’t have this option could lose out on their entire paychecks, for weeks or months at a time. Unfortunately, few people prepare for injuries on this scale.
Sadly, the loss of earnings isn’t the only financial impact. The medical bills are another issue. These can be especially significant if the shoulder injury requires surgery. Physical therapy or some type of rehabilitation program may follow surgery.
How a Shoulder Tear Relates to an Auto Accident Claim
Between lost earnings, mounting medical bills and chronic pain, it can leave an accident victim wondering if there is some type of recourse he or she can take. If the other driver was at fault, the accident victim may file a claim with his or her insurance company.
Compensation could address missed time from work and medical bills. But a painful, disabling injury may also allow for the recovery of other damages such as pain and suffering and more.
This will require gathering evidence that proves the other party was at fault; for instance, an accident report and eyewitness statements are two key pieces of necessary evidence. But the injured person must also be able to establish the financial, physical and emotional impact a shoulder tear has had on his or her life.
This may all seem overwhelming. For help in the Aurora area, discuss your claim with D.J. Banovitz. He has litigated hundreds of personal injury cases and is dedicated to helping victims like you recover compensation for their injuries. Call (303) 300-5060 or contact us online to set up an appointment.